WNBA

Dream-Sky Preview

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The Atlanta Dream's attempt to return to the WNBA finals is off to a slow start. Having starting forward Sancho Lyttle out of the lineup for the last six games hasn't helped.

Lyttle, though, could end her absence when the Dream visit the Chicago Sky on Saturday night.

After winning an Eastern Conference title in its third year of existence, Atlanta appeared to be one of the favorites to end up at the top of the standings again this season. However, the Dream dropped seven of their first nine before topping New York 87-81 on June 30.

Erika de Souza tied a career high with 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against the Liberty. Lindsey Harding added a season-best 25 points to help the Dream (3-7) avoid a third straight defeat.

"I thought it was a great team win. Just watching our players perform, I think we're getting that swagger back that we had in the past," coach Marynell Meadors said.

Meadors' team could get some more help with Lyttle expected to make her first appearance since leaving to play for the Spanish national team in an Olympic qualifying tournament.

The forward, who was averaging 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds before heading off to Europe, was reinstated to the roster Sunday.

Atlanta might need Lyttle's help against Sky center Sylvia Fowles, who's coming off her best scoring performance of the season.

Fowles had 34 points and 16 rebounds in a 78-65 win over Washington on Tuesday as the Sky snapped a three-game losing streak.

Fowles bounced back after averaging 14.0 points over her previous two games. Prior to that, she'd scored at least 20 in a team-record seven straight.

"I had to redeem myself," she said. "I wasn't playing the way I was capable of playing, and I felt like I was letting my teammates down."

Fowles had 21 points in Atlanta on June 21, but the Sky (5-6) scored only two over the final 2:57 en route to a 71-68 defeat.

Fowles averaged a team-best 19.4 points and 10.0 rebounds while helping Chicago take three of five matchups in last season's series with Atlanta. Iziane Castro Marques paced the Dream with 20.0 points per game, while Lyttle was averaged 10.2.

Chicago has won nine of 13 all-time matchups against Atlanta, including three of five at home.

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